Postpartum Provisions: Ready-Made Meals, Snacks and More to Keep the New Mom Fueled
This post was guest written by Peyton Ladt Sterns of Bashed.
Two weeks before my son was due, I decided it was time to finish my baby to-do list that I’d been procrastinating on. Specifically, I wanted to re-tool the hospital bag (must add robes, remove all non-maternity wear, who am I kidding?), hang that last photo in the nursery … and make meatballs.
Six hours after I completed my tasks, my water broke and we found ourselves in the middle of the street at one in the morning trying to decide whether or not a taxi would magically appear on this normally bustling but now eerily quiet stretch of Third Avenue, or if we should call an Uber ASAP.
Three days later, we were happily (and nervously) making the journey home.
Now, let's go back to those meatballs. There's so much happening in those first few days and weeks at home with a newborn that meal prep seems like a thing of the past. That's why my pre-baby to-do list had the now-infamous meatballs on there—it was my desperate attempt at getting ahead of the curve. We thanked our lucky stars that we had amazing friends and family who brought us delicious meals during that time period. After living through the experience, I thought I’d share my favorite postpartum provisions, tips, hacks, recipes, and general notes for personal sanity…
Grab n’ Go Foods to Have for Postpartum
Between changing diapers, feedings, attempting to take showers and get sleep when the baby is sleeping, time is of the essence and it’s a lifesaver to have food you can eat with one hand. While it’s easy to be tempted by that bag of chips you can open with your teeth, it’s important to have options readily available that are going to provide the nutrients that you (and if breastfeeding, your baby) need.
I baked this lactation cookie recipe on several occasions. The first time I made them, I was so out of sorts that I forgot to add white sugar, and I actually liked the taste so much (and felt better about eating a little less sugar) that I continued to make them with only brown sugar. To each their own!
These no-bake energy bites are a staple in my house whether there’s a newborn or not. The best part? If you have a partner, he or she will feel less weird about eating these energy bites than the lactation cookies ;)
One common theme in the above recipes:oats.Oats are packed with iron, and some lactation consultants believe that iron can help increase milk supply.
Protein Bars, Energy Bars, More Bars
RX, Cliff, Kind—we all have our preferences. Whatever yours is, stock up and have them anywhere you may need them: the baby’s room, your living room, the bathroom…wherever you might find yourself needing a pick me up any time of the day (or night!). Take it from me, breastfeeding causes extreme hunger out of nowhere, and we all know that hunger + time = hangry, and no one wants a hangry mommy.
I’m surprised I didn’t turn into a banana after all the bananas I ate. Banana with almond butter, banana with peanut butter, banana on toast...in smoothies! I can’t explain where the craving came from, I just know that I ate a lot of them and I was happy to have an interminable supply. If bananas are not your thing, have your fruit of choice waiting for you when you get home.
They take 10 minutes to make and then you’ll be grateful to have those on-the-go in the morning, or any time of the day.
Ready to Eat Foods for Postpartum
Here’s where your mornings can become a little more meaningful. A muffin is a great vessel for packing fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and other nutrients (collagen, protein powder, etc) into a few bites. We love this morning glory recipe.
Just like when your little one was inside you, he or she is going to continue to suck all the nutrients out of you that it needs, which means it’s your job to put them back into your body for you. Studies have shown that women often lose 3-5 percent of their bone mass during breastfeeding, although we recover it quickly after weaning. Other good sources of calcium are dark green leafy vegetables, and almonds.
With vegetables, with pita chips, on a sandwich - whichever way you like it, it’s another easy protein-packed item to have in your fridge that’s ready to eat when you are. If you want to skip the preservatives that sometimes come with the packaged version, don’t be intimidated by making it at home (or asking someone else to!) it’s very easy. Here’s a recipeIlove from Bon Appetit.
Easy to Reheat Foods for Postpartum
A big shout out to my sister Emily who brought the best ziti I’ve ever had in my life. Not only was it delicious, but it was enough to last us for a few meals. It’s so nice to not have to think about what you’re having for dinner. She’s evolved this ziti recipe over time. Her main suggestion when making it for yourself is:
“The key thing is that this recipe is super-flexible—if you like more or less garlic, go for it. More or less meat, go for it. More cheese—have at it. The key things are 1) to let the sauce cook enough to thicken and develop flavor, and 2) to season the components along the way so each is tasty on its own and not to under-season. It will not be too salty overall if each component is seasoned well (as long as they are not salty).”
As mentioned above, oats are GREAT for breastfeeding moms. And even if you’re not breastfeeding, it’s just a wholesome and filling option, and easy to add different toppings based on your cravings. Here’s a baked oatmeal recipe we love.
If you haven’t read our recipes for warm-weather soups, you can find that here. And if it is cold out, there’s nothing wrong with going with the basics. My mother-in-law made a chicken noodle soup from scratch, and it was like a hug for the heart.
Delivered Meals from Friends
If you haven’t picked up on this already if someone offers to bring you something to eat, you want to ask for something that accomplishes the following: provides enough portions to last you several meals, something that will still be delicious when you reheat it, or something that requires little to no preparation.
These were some of my favorites, but I’m sure you each have your own! What food or meals did you like to eat when you came home from the hospital? Tell us in the comments below!
Peyton Ladt Sterns is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bashedthe go-to-guide for all things entertaining. Bashed provides tools for you to execute the perfect event from finding your venue to connecting you with brands that will help make your event extra special.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.